If the latest Washington Post/ABC News survey is any indication, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and his likely Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton are destined for a cutthroat competition between now and November, with various voting groups sharply divided on their candidacies.
Both Trump and Clinton have shifted their attention toward each other in recent weeks, delivering impassioned remarks about each other's policies on a myriad of issues and assigning such nicknames as "Crooked Hillary" and "Dangerous Donald." Just this weekend, the New York billionaire and former secretary of state spent Saturday and Sunday hammering away at each other on guns.
But beyond their policy differences and divergent visions for America, the latest poll shows Clinton and Trump are worlds apart among most demographic groups as well.
Much of Trump's support in the Republican primary stemmed from non-college-educated and white working-class voters, groups that, so far, appear unwilling to back Clinton.
According to the Washington Post/ABC News survey, Trump carries a 24-point lead over the former first lady among white voters and beats her by double digits among voters without college degrees.
"I love the poorly educated," the billionaire declared during a campaign rally in late February, shortly before he nearly swept the Super Tuesday GOP primaries.
Clinton's overwhelming support among minorities may be her saving grace, especially if she picks a running mate who's capable of siphoning off some of Trump's support among whites.
The former secretary of state netted nearly 70 percent support among non-whites surveyed, while Trump garnered just 21 percent. Moreover, 78 percent of non-white voters have a negative impression of Trump (including 84 percent of Hispanics), while 69 percent of non-whites view Clinton favorably (including 76 percent of Hispanics).
And while women are hardly a minority — they have reportedly cast anywhere from four to seven million more votes than their male counterparts in elections held in the last couple of decades — they make up yet another group where Clinton leads the Manhattan real estate mogul in terms of likability: 65 percent do not view Trump favorably compared to 47 percent who hold a negative opinion of Clinton.
Some other interesting numbers from the survey:
Only 26 percent of voters think Trump has enough experience to be president. As his campaign begins the vice presidential vetting process, Trump has said he's "probably [going to] choose somebody that's somewhat political." Such a move could help him in this area.
Despite making immigration the focal point of his campaign, fewer voters (44 percent) trust Trump to handle the issue than Clinton (50 percent).
Trump's position on free trade has drawn the ire of several Republican lawmakers, but it's an issue where he edges Clinton as the more trusted candidate by 7 percentage points.
An overwhelming 23-point gap exists between Trump and Clinton in terms of who has put forward more realistic policy proposals. Clinton leads this category, with 57 percent of voters saying her platform is more pragmatic.
The numbers do show Clinton and Trump polling closely in two areas beyond their overall support among U.S. voters. Nearly 60 percent of respondents indicated they view both candidates unfavorably: Clinton has a net-negative favorability rating of -16, while Trump's is -17. Additionally, a little over 40 percent of Americans believe each candidate is "honest and trustworthy."
Clinton's and Trump's difficulties with likability and trustworthiness are one reason why the same survey found a potential third-party candidate — in this case, former GOP nominee Mitt Romney — already reaching more than 20 percent support six months out from the November election.
Fifty-five percent of Americans in a separate poll released last week said they would welcome the entry of an independent candidate into the race, while another survey showed Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson polling in double digits against Trump and Clinton, reaching nearly 20 percent support among independent voters and doing particularly well among millennials.
The survey of 1,005 U.S. adults, including 829 registered voters, was conducted May 16-19. Results contain a margin of error plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.